Thought Leadership
  • Content marketing

How to reach millennials

Blythe Collins
27th February 2017

Doesn’t everybody just get it?

The most unexpected thing I learned during my time as an intern at Mediablaze is the value of my millennial perspective.

When presented with the task of constructing a 20-minute presentation to deliver in front of an office full of the most creative, interesting individuals I have encountered, I didn’t think that an explanation of how millennials use social media was going to be interesting to anyone. Doesn’t everybody just get it? Don’t all of these people know the same things I do? The answer is no… definitely not. Being people who have grown up adapting to the changes in technology since the 80s, we don’t realise that the way we use social media is not common sense to everyone. Luckily I can provide some helpful tips on how to reach (and keep) millennial consumers – straight out of my millennial mind.

1. Don’t sell

We really dislike outright selling. As a stereotypically sensitive generation (there’s truth in this), we aren’t attracted to feeling patronised by companies or being treated as simply targets for consumption. Try subtly garnering our interest by selling how your brand can improve something in our lives. We are sceptical, so showing rather than telling is a smart way to gain our confidence in your brand.

2. Be authentic

We really do appreciate authenticity. We notice companies that are transparent (almost as much we notice the companies that are not transparent), making honesty essential to successfully gaining our loyalty. Thanks to the Internet, we are used to having almost unlimited access to everything we ever want to know. If a brand has done something we don’t like, we are going to find out about it. Give us reasons why we can (and should) get behind your brand and not just purchase one item, never to return again.

3. #Stopslang2k17

Unnatural-sounding ‘millennial slang’ is so weird to us when we aren’t the ones using it. We truly never expect you to go along with it. The same idea goes for hashtags and other social media trends. We know our ever-expanding repertoire of communication mechanisms is difficult to keep up with and don’t mind if current slang isn’t being used by brands we like. Just try to avoid it altogether unless you’re absolutely sure that you know what you’re doing.

4. Make it simple

We love websites and apps that are pleasant to look at without being difficult to use. We live fast-paced lives and generally don’t like to feel that we are wasting our time. Personally, I know I’d rather look over something quickly and get an overview of an idea to see if I want to read more than reading an entire article. This is because I am used to scrolling through social media and – at most – reading a few sentences at a time.

5. Be human

When you humanise your brands, you let us know that there’s more to your company than faceless machines or lifeless electronics providing us with items or services. Social media is so important because we are constantly using it and you can interact with customers more than ever before – and you should. We enjoy engagement between brands and consumers because we are a social demographic (if you haven’t noticed).

All in all, we like to think we’re not so bad (I know, classic millennial, believing they’re not the worst). We may be undeniably tricky to reach, but millennials make up a significant portion of the consumer market which is why it is important to know how to effectively reach them. When in doubt, stick to these five basic tips and if you get good enough, you could soon be reading millennial minds.

Blythe Collins

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